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Russia and China want to build a nuclear reactor on the moon by 2035

Russia and China want to build a nuclear reactor on the moon by 2035

Russia and China They intend to make a joint effort to set up a factory Nuclear energy production on moon Which is expected to be completed between 2033 and 2035. He said this Yuri BorisovDirector General of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos And former Deputy Minister of Defense. Borisov said that the reactor will be built “automatically, without human presence,” and this is why It was built entirely by robots. It sounds like an idea from science fiction, but according to the head of Roscosmos, the project will be “solved” technically, except for the reactor cooling system. But we currently have no information about the details of this project. Borisov also spoke of his intention to build, in cooperation with China, a large nuclear-powered spacecraft capable of transporting cargo to different orbits and collecting space debris.

Why do space agencies want to build nuclear reactors on the moon?

The statement comes less than a month after it was announced that NASA would also launch the first phase of the program in the United States. Surface splitting force To build a nuclear power plant on our satellite, by opening three different calls for bids to select project proposals for future lunar fission nuclear reactors.

This is new “Lunar nuclear race” This is driven by the fact that the eyes of the world's major space agencies are on building semi-permanent human settlements on the moon, a challenge that the technology is now mature enough to meet. These bases will need a lot of power to operate, for example. Photovoltaic systems will not be enough Since nights on the moon last 14 Earth days. Therefore, nuclear energy appears to be the preferred path to having a system that produces energy continuously for long periods, perhaps up to a decade.

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However, building a nuclear reactor suitable for operation in the lunar environment is not at all easy. Firstly because it has never happened before. Maybe he should be able to produce Tens of kilowatt hours of energy It is compact, secure and reliable.

The geopolitical importance of cooperation between Russia and China

The announcement of this “space” cooperation between Russia and China in response to NASA’s fission surface energy project is not surprising given the strong geopolitical alliance between the two countries. In particular, it is reasonable to believe that such cooperation is a form of… a race Between the two Asian powers and the United States or the West in general. It is a competition that is not only scientific and technological, but also economic, given the crucial role the Moon will play in the space economy. This is a situation that is somewhat reminiscent of the competition between the Western and Soviet blocs during the space race in the 1950s and 1960s.

The alliance between Russia and China is not very causal, at this historical moment, Vladimir Poutine pays more that there are many technological and commercial parts, due to the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 a Leads to Economic sanctions Which, among other things, had the effect of isolating Moscow from significant international cooperation in the field of space. This slowed the Russian space program, which also failed to land a probe in 2023. Moon 25.